Future of the Left – Human Death (Music Review)

Human Death cover

Future of the Left – Human Death

As a quick follow-up to last week’s Future of the Left review, I want to mention that in addition to How To Stop Your Brain In an Accident and Love Songs for Our Husbands, they released an additional “sessions EP” to people who backed their crowdfunding project. Human Death shows that the band definitely has a firm grasp on its strengths; This is twenty minutes of perfectly fine songs that, with one exception, would never have any chance of making it to a full album.

That’s not to say it’s bad. In some ways, there’s something very relaxing about listening to B-sides from a band you like and knowing that none of them need to very good. Future of the Left’s albums always distract me with worries about whether the band is living up to my expectations. For a side project like this, I don’t have any expectations.

This also seems like it was a place to put songs that didn’t sound quite like the rest of them. Where the band usually relies on heavy percussion to underscore Falco’s staccato delivery, these songs are softer and actually more melodic. It’s a nice change of pace, and I’m not sure what to make of the decision to keep songs like this out of the way. Not that these tracks specifically should have gone on another album – the lyrics don’t live up to the standards of the A-sides – but I hope to hear more like this from the band in the future.

As a good sessions EP should have, there’s one standout track that fans need to track down. “Not Entirely Present” is a catchy, off-kilter pop song that features a simple folk-rock backing while Falco spits out inscrutable lines.

That one track doesn’t make me recommend the EP. Human Death is a pleasant but definitely inessential companion to Future of the Left’s main release this year. I’m strangely happy with it, thanks to the way it manages expectations, and I hope that this experimentation leads the band down new paths in the future, but I don’t have any illusions about the actual quality of it either.

Grade: C+

 
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